we don’t need no stinkin tents

February 1, 2010

I would have thought if I was going to lose a kid in a pile of snow, it would be while skiing, not digging a snow cave.

But Holden and I went up Payson Canyon for that manliest of rituals, the Klondike. The rest of the crew wussed out and slept in tents, but Holden and I were determined to sleep like Eskimos. We spent about 2 hours making a gigantic pile of snow, probably big enough to actually house a family of Inuits, but tragicomedy struck when the snow turned out to be rotten.

Holden, playing the part of Yen, had hollowed out enough of the cave that just his feet were visible, when the whole thing collapsed with a loud WHOOMPH. We practically had to do a beacon search to find him. We had him out and grinning within about 5-10 seconds, although it felt like much (much) longer.

He was a bit freaked out for a couple minutes. And cold.

A bit later, we had re-piled the snow, and J.J. was inside digging it out. When the cave collapsed on him, we decided maybe the sugary snow didn’t make the best trusses. So we just removed all the snow, left the walls, and put a giant tarp over the top. Which I guess makes it technically more of a snow “lean-to” than a snow cave, but at least we didn’t sleep in a tent, right? We don’t need no stinkin tents.

After working on the “lean-to” for about an hour, and then learning that he couldn’t sleep in an enclosure with a leader that wasn’t his dad, J.J. spent some time coming up with names for punk rock bands. The best one was “stupd-stinkin-molesting-scoutmasters.” What, you wouldn’t buy their cds?.

Holden, getting feeling back in his face:

holden campfire

The awesome snow lean-to:

holden in front of cave day

From the inside (notice how Holden has totally embraced the “multiple beanie” lifestyle):

holden looking into cave

From the outside:

holden outside of cave

While he drifted off to sleep in his double sleeping bag, Holden kept mumbling over and over “this is so cool.”

So I guess we’ll be back next year.

holden sled

11 Responses to “we don’t need no stinkin tents”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    Excellent avalanche simulation. It may save Holden’s life some day. Or give him crippling claustrophobia.

    A fabric roof is not a tent? OK, you can have the mulligan.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Looks like good times at Maple Dell.

  3. Derron Says:

    Almost makes me want to be a scout leader. Then again….No thanks.

  4. jb Says:

    Good job Dug. After my three boys (three eagle scouts, yes, proud dad) the only time I froze on Klondike was the first year and we tented…sno-caves for every year after that.

  5. bikemike Says:

    Eagle Scout badge requiremnet #3046…”Pee your name in the snow, extra points if done in cursive”.

  6. Rick S. Says:

    Everyone builds snow caves. But a snow lean-to….now that is impressive.

  7. Bandit Says:

    very cool

  8. Ben Says:

    Lucky kids… all we ever got to do for Klondike was go camp in a dry field in Tooele. Sure stinks trying to ride the sleds over dried grass/hay and cow sh*&


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